The view from "outside of bionet.*
ken at animal.csd.scarolina.edu
Fri Aug 26 14:50:45 EST 1994
In <CMM.0.90.2.777328959.kristoff at net.bio.net>, Dave K. refers to:
>...appealing in newsgroups outside of the bionet domain to news
>administrators who have little understanding of our issues...
Having been out of town for a week, I'm scrambling to catch up on
this most interesting thread.
I'm not a biologist, but a news administrator.
Dave et al, I think you will find that news admin's are a pretty
independent and opinionated lot.
[ Not to say "stubborn as mules"... just drop by news.admin.policy
sometime. This little gabfest has been mild by our standards. :-]
Very few of them are likely to take anyone's unsubstantiated word for
something affecting propagation. They will do as I have done:
check out the conversation over here (once I found it :-)
scan the FAQ's
decide for themselves how best to serve their users
I suspect that you're also short-changing them in the perception
department. "have little understanding of our issues"? Mrmph.
Obviously _some_ of our users are scientists, no?
* * *
Ok, here's my tuppence. Some thoughts on how bionet.*
might make life easier for the news administrator.
One thing I miss in the bionet hierarchy is a clearly-identified place
for issues of propagation, group policy, new group discussion....
Something corresponding to bit.admin or ieee.config.
When I acquired a bionet feed, I checked the newsgroup descriptions but
did not deduce that it was lumped with "General BIOSCI discussion".
Of course I subscribed to bionet.announce.
I found the info sheet, which told me this group was for "Discussions
about biological topics for which there is not yet a dedicated
newsgroup." Still didn't click.
Not until much later did I get around to reading the FAQ list which
told me unequivocally to look in bionet.general. Oh well, I'm here
Second, I had a regular expression in my config files to catch
authorized newgroup messages. About a month ago, I realized it was
missing some or all of the bionet newgroup control messages.
Apparently the address from which they were posted had changed, either
temporarily or permanently.
My original entry was based on the example in the INN distribution;
so there were probably many other sites using the same config.
It would be nice to know (and I looked in the FAQ/info) what set of
addresses issue the official control messages, so that I can be sure
the newgroup takes effect automagically, in case I am behind on
Finally, from the point of view of a plain ol' user on the Usenet side
of the world:
It would be REALLY, REALLY, REALLY nice if everyone made sure their
software preserved/updated the References: header line. Especially
the BIOSCI staff. <hint, hint>
I admit that I have quickly become spoiled by a threading news reader
that uses that data. But when the References: is omitted, the
article is pulled out of the thread of conversation and appears
at the bottom of all those with the same Subject:(s), followed by
See the ongoing discussion of a specification of "approved" news
software in news.admin.misc. This is one of the first items on
Please have your news admins contact me if they'd like more info.
Ken Sallenger / ken at bigbird.csd.scarolina.edu / 803 777-9335
Computer Services Division / Univ. of South Carolina, Columbia SC
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